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Meet the team

 
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The Team


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Bianca
Community Manager

Bio Coming Soon

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Brisa
Instructor

Brisa is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Though she first found yoga in Brazil in 2003, it was not until 2009, while living in Aspen, Colorado, that yoga became part of her life. Brisa graduated from Bikram Yoga Teacher Training and from Ana Forrest's Foundation Teacher Training in Chicago. Brisa uses intuitive guidance, precise breath work, vigorous sequencing, and occasionally music to cultivate a safe, healing space for her students.

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Caroline
Instructor

Caroline is a School Psychologist and KRI Level 1 Kundalini yoga instructor. Having studied psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill and Long Island University, Caroline is fascinated by the mind. Through a regular Kundalini yoga practice she discovered that one can maintain mental clarity and live a more present and conscious existence. Caroline combines movement, breath work, and mindfulness in class and with her two young children.


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Devon
Instructor

Devon found yoga and meditation as a first time mother looking to find her new identity. Her playful spirit fuels her passion to teach kids yoga and help adults find their inner child. Devon completed her 200-hour Kunga Yoga Teacher Training through the Wilmington Yoga Center. A Kunga philosophy is to serve the community, and Devon is excited to build and serve the Durham yoga community.

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Ellese
Instructor

Ellese Nickles (DPT, RYT-200) found yoga as a compliment to her dance training. She completed teacher training at Satchidananda Ashram in 2008. Ellese completed her doctorate in physical therapy at UNC and uses expertise in neuromusculoskeletal issues to further guide her practice and teaching. Ellese teaches a vinyasa class with special attention given to alignment and functional movement patterns.

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Erin
Instructor

Erin (Ph.D., RYT-200) is a transplant from Nevada. She relocated to North Carolina and earned her Ph.D. in molecular and developmental biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She started practicing yoga for flexibility and strength, but realized it managed anxiety and depression. Erin received her 200-hr teaching certification in2016 from Republic of Yoga in Cary under the inspiring guidance of Nicole Nichols (Narayani).


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Jacquelyn
Instructor

Yoga started as a workout but became a healing tool in Jacquelyn’s life. She received her 200hr Kunga Yoga Teacher certification, through a program designed to bring yoga to underserved communities, under the guidance of Kristin Cooper, Jess Bichler, and Sylvia Jabaley. As a social worker, Jacquelyn has experience teaching in setting as well as to families.

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Jessica
Instructor

Jessica (LPCA, M.S., CRC, RYT-200) has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. She studied psychology at the University of North Carolina and was an ardent student of the international authority on Yoga for Athletes, Sage Rountree and Lies Sapp. As a mental health therapist, Jessica believes in the practice of yoga as a tool to promote both physical and mental wellness.

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Josephine
Instructor

Josephine is a RYT-200 certified yoga teacher currently enrolled in Asheville Yoga Center's 300-hour Advanced Teacher Training. She has training in energy work, breathwork meditation, and trauma-informed teaching. She is committed to creating a trauma-sensitive, LGBTQIA-affirming, body positive container for people to explore movement, sensation, and self-soothing tools.


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Katelin
Instructor

Katelin found yoga in college while playing Division 1 soccer, looking for something to help with chronic injuries and anxiety. She took her 200hr teacher training at Blue Point Yoga Center in 2015. She received her MS in Art and Design History from the Pratt Institute, is an avid art enthusiast, and is a fine artist trained in mosaic art, oil paint and watercolors. She also enjoys circuit training, biking, inferno pilates classes and pretty much anything that gets her moving.

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Katya
Instructor

Katya (RYT-200) found yoga after years of ballet and marathon running. As a PTSD survivor, she realized how powerful it was as a healing tool. Her teaching combines alignment, philosophy, movement, trauma-informed training, and many years of Ayurveda study. Katya's background is vinyasa, Bhakti yoga, and as a kirtan artist who will sing to you in savasana. She is a member of the queer community and creates a welcoming, affirming environment for people of all bodies and backgrounds.

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Kathryn
Founder / Owner

Kathryn (E-RYT) is the founder of Yoga Off East. She lives in Durham with her husband, their two children and a chocolate lab Sage. Kathryn is a Duke alumna (T’01) where she played on the tennis team and studied Cultural Anthropology. As a competitive athlete, and later a Division I tennis coach, Kathryn found that her on-court results improved as she learned how to quiet critical mind and stay grounded in her body. In addition to weekly classes at Yoga Off East, Kathy works privately with athletes around town.


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Lara
Instructor

Lara came to yoga with a tired body and an anxious mind and found both renewed on the mat. Lara began her yoga practice at O2 Yoga in Massachusetts, and completed her 200-hour teacher training through Carolina Yoga Company. She has also completed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction through Duke Integrative Medicine. Off the mat, Lara brings her love of joyful, expressive movement into teaching BollyX, a Bollywood-inspired, cardio-dance class.

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Laura
Instructor

Laura (RYT 200, MSW) graduated from Campbell University in 2007 with a Bachelors of Social Work, and from UNC Chapel Hill in 2010 with a Masters of Social Work with a concentration in child and adolescent mental health. She provides clinical services and independent living skills to young adults who are aging out of foster care or experiencing homelessness. Laura graduated from the 200-hour YTT at Republic of Yoga in 2017. She lives with her husband Tim, daughter Blythe, and two awesomely weird cats, Soleri and Frank.

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Linda
Instructor

Linda started practicing at a corporate gym in New York two decades ago. Initially considering this a stretching class, she marveled at the way her body and mind felt stronger and clearer. She received her 200-hour certification from Franklin Street Yoga Center in 2010. Linda, her husband Ben, and their three children live in Durham. In addition to being a student and a teacher of yoga, she is a scrum master, sports fanatic, and voracious foodie.


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Melissa Sheri
Instructor

With a background in dance and music, Melissa integrates flow and ease into her practice.
Her classes invite a kind and playful approach to movement by providing creative sequencing in a warm, inclusive environment for all levels. While not on the mat, Melissa can be found traveling, spending time in nature, and writing songs.

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Melissa
Instructor

Melissa love for yoga began in a high school gym class. Melissa graduated from Binghamton University with a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in Health and Wellness Studies before moving to Durham for the promise of warm weather and sunshine. She pursued a 200-hr yoga teacher training program with The Mandala Yoga School in 2017. Off the mat, Melissa does research on neuromuscular diseases at Duke University Medical Center. Off the mat, you can find her with friends, changing her hair color or posing for the ‘gram.

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Mia
Instructor

Mia (RYT) has been practicing yoga since she was 13. What began as a weekly “date” with her mom transformed into a passion she feels honored to share. A West Coast native, Mia received her BA in Musical Theater from UCLA. During her time in Los Angeles, she practiced yoga at Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga in Santa Monica. Mia started teaching dance classes as a teenager and currently works as a choreographer, voice, dance, and acting coach.


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Nicole
Instructor

Nicole took her first yoga class in college to cross-train for a marathon. She realized that 1 hour on the mat was infinitely more fulfilling – physically and mentally – than her daily run. Nicole used her practice to manage the stress of graduate school, moving to new cities, and working for various tech startups, small businesses and PBS. Nicole completed her 200 hour certification at Carborro Yoga Company. She strives to give her students the space for intention, the right breath for the task, and any tips and tricks that make life even the tiniest bit easier.

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Tammy
Instructor

Tammy (E-RYT) has been active most of her life, as a gymnast and then, a competitive powerlifter. About fifteen years ago, the stress of athletic injuries, her corporate accounting career in the DC area, and the emotional demands of having a child with a complex genetic disorder drew her to yoga. Tammy has studied with Johnny Gillespie, Jamie Elmer, and Doug Keller, all of whom emphasize functional fitness and anatomy. She is also trained in yoga for anxiety and depression. In recent years, Tammy was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and is grateful for her yoga practice which teaches her that each day is an opportunity for a fresh start.